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Shares O/S 209,056,800Market Cap $804,868,680
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Tuesday, March 01 2011 - 04:18pm AlertFAposted by: jnbouch
#74268 - Novavax jumps on US govt contract, S.Korea licensing deal


UPDATE 2-Novavax jumps on US govt contract, S.Korea licensing deal
6 hours ago - Reuters
UPDATE 2-Novavax jumps on US govt contract, S.Korea licensing deal

* Novavax to get undisclosed upfront payment, royalty

* Shares up 35 pct to 14-month high (Follows alerts)

March 1 (Reuters) - Novavax shares jumped 35 percent to a year high on Tuesday, a day after the company bagged a U.S. government contract and licensed the South Korean rights of its influenza vaccine technology to LG Life Sciences .

"This ($179.1 million contract) award is significant for Novavax as it bolsters their balance sheet and allows for the Phase III development of their lead virus-like particles vaccine candidate without having to endure equity dilution," Roth Capital Partners analyst Edward Nash said.

Novavax's technology allows it to grow the vaccine in lab dishes of caterpillar cells by using a mimic or decoy of the virus known as a virus-like particle (VLP), thus shortening the time to develop a vaccine for a new viral strain.

The company is now in a strong position while negotiating partnership discussions, Nash, who has a "buy" rating on Novavax shares, said.

Under the licensing deal, LG Life Sciences will be responsible for funding clinical development and licensing of influenza VLP vaccines in South Korea and emerging market countries, Novavax said.

Also, LG Life Sciences will construct a new VLP vaccine manufacturing facility in South Korea, Novavax said.

Novavax will be eligible to get milestone payments from LG Life Sciences in addition to double-digit royalty rate payments from commercial sales. (Reporting by Anand Basu in Bangalore; Editing by Vyas Mohan and Gopakumar Warrier)

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